Cycling pilot scheme rolled out across primary schools

Fife pupils are being encouraged to get on their bikes thanks to a new pilot scheme.

Brand new bikes have been appearing in primary schools as part of the Cycle Dunfermline and Cycle Glenrothes projects supported by the Scottish Government and Sustrans to get more youngsters cycling.

So far, 76 new bikes have been given out, with another 68 being distributed by April.

Bikes have been offered to primary schools in the Dunfermline, south-west Fife and Glenrothes areas.

Up to now, schools in the south-west of Fife Camdean, Canmore, Commercial, St Margaret’s, St John’s and Pitcorthie have taken delivery of cycles.

More bikes have been ordered for a further five schools: Kings Road, Tulliallan, Lynburn, Masterton and Touch.

In Glenrothes, eight primaries Carlton, Coaltown of Balgonie, Kinglassie, Pitcoudie, Rimbleton, South Parks, Collydean and Leslie are already getting on their bikes.

Bikes are on their way to five others: Thornton, Markinch, Newcastle, Southwood and Caskieberran.

Bikeability cycle training is also being rolled out across the area.

Fife Council’s transportation boss Dr Bob McLellan is happy to see the bikes in the schools.

“Many schools in the area are already committed to delivering Bikeability cycle training to their pupils and they have thoroughly enjoyed taking part.

“However, the uptake in the town can always be improved and not all pupils are currently getting training.

“Through this partnership project with Sustrans, we have been able to provide bikes, cycle helmets and training for teachers to deliver Bikeability to help remove many barriers.”

He said the scheme provided an ideal opportunity to better integrate cycling within the PE curriculum and develop Bikeability cycle training within schools and the wider community.

Last year, Fife Council’s transportation and environment division successfully bid for £2.4 million of funding from Sustrans to help promote and encourage cycling in Fife.

Through related walking and cycling initiatives, including funding from the Dunfermline town centre improvement fund, the council has been able to match this award.

This has allowed the council to provide a significant investment for cycling during the two years of the project.

As well as training, the project is delivering new and improved cycle routes throughout the town, along with more secure cycle parking at key locations.

Education officer Rona Maclean-Ross said: “By integrating cycling into the school curriculum, we’re able to develop important PE learning in new ways, while encouraging the children to be physically active.

“We hope that this will help the children to cycle safely and with confidence and encourage them to get out on their bikes more often.”

City of Dunfermline committee chairwoman Helen Law added that the local authority had been at the forefront of encouraging people to cycle for more than 20 years.

“We have a great and expanding network of cycleways and have continually encouraged people to cycle more often,” she said.

“Teaching our children good cycling skills is part of this and it’s vital to encourage them to cycle safely.”

Dr McLellan added: “Cycle Glenrothes will help get people in the town cycling more often.”